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The Story of Prophet Al-Yasa (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ)

Al-Yasa Calligraphy

Prophet Al-Yasa (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), also referred to as Elisha in English, is a revered Prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Al Yasa (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) was one of the Children of Israel, a descendant of Yusuf ibn Yaqub ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim (may peace be upon them all).

Allah (سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ) sent Prophet Al-Yasa as a successor to Prophet Ilyas (Elijah) to help guide the children of Israel. He lived among his people and called upon them to obey the laws and commands of Allah (سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ).

Not much is known about his life, but the Qur'an speaks highly of him in the two ayahs he is mentioned.

وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُۥٓ إِسۡحَٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَۚ كُلًّا هَدَيۡنَاۚ وَنُوحًا هَدَيۡنَا مِن قَبۡلُۖ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِۦ دَاوُۥدَ وَسُلَيۡمَٰنَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَٰرُونَۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجۡزِي ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ ayah 84 وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحۡيَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَإِلۡيَاسَۖ كُلّٞ مِّنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ ayah 85 وَإِسۡمَٰعِيلَ وَٱلۡيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطٗاۚ وَكُلّٗا فَضَّلۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ ayah 86 وَمِنۡ ءَابَآئِهِمۡ وَذُرِّيَّـٰتِهِمۡ وَإِخۡوَٰنِهِمۡۖ وَٱجۡتَبَيۡنَٰهُمۡ وَهَدَيۡنَٰهُمۡ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِيمٖ ayah 87

Wa wahabnaa lahoo ishaaqa wa ya’qoob; kullan hadainaa; wa Noohan hadainaa min qablu wa min zurriyyatihee Daawooda wa Sulaimaana wa Ayyooba wa Yoosufa wa Moosaa wa Haaroon; wa kazaalika najzil muhsineen (84) Wa Zakariyyaa wa Yahyaa wa ‘Eesaa wa Illyaasa kullum minas saaliheen (85) Wa Ismaa’eela wal Yasa’a wa Yoonusa wa Lootaa; wa kullan faddalnaa ‘alal ‘aalameen (86) Wa min aabaaa’ihim wa zurriyyaatihim wa ikhwaanihim wajtabainaahum wa hadainaahum ilaa Siraatim Mustaqeem (87)

English Translation:

And We bestowed upon Abraham (offspring) Ishaq (Isaac) and Ya’qub (Jacob) and each of them did We guide to the right way as We had earlier guided Noah to the right way; and (of his descendants We guided) Da’ud (David) and Sulayman (Solomon), Ayyub (Job), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron). Thus do We reward those who do good. (84) (And of his descendants We guided) Zakariya (Zachariah), Yahya (John), Isa (Jesus) and Ilyas (Elias): each one of them was of the righteous. (85) (And of his descendants We guided) Isma’il (Ishmael), al-Yasa’ (Elisha), Yunus (Jonah), and Lut (Lot). And each one of them We favoured over all mankind. (86) And likewise We elected for Our cause and guided on to a straight way some of their forefathers and their offspring and their brethren. (87)

Surah Al-An'am, ayat 84-87

In Surah Sad Ayat 48-50 Allah says,

وَٱذۡكُرۡ إِسۡمَٰعِيلَ وَٱلۡيَسَعَ وَذَا ٱلۡكِفۡلِۖ وَكُلّٞ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَخۡيَارِ ayah 48 هَٰذَا ذِكۡرٞۚ وَإِنَّ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ لَحُسۡنَ مَـَٔابٖ ayah 49 جَنَّـٰتِ عَدۡنٖ مُّفَتَّحَةٗ لَّهُمُ ٱلۡأَبۡوَٰبُ ayah 50

Wazkur Ismaa’eela wal Yasa’a wa Zal-Kifli wa kullun minal akhyaar (48) Haazaa zikrun wa inna lil muttaqeena la husna ma aab (49) Jannaati ‘adnin mufattahatan lahumul abwaab (50)

English Translation:

And remember Ishmael (Isma’il), Elisha (Al-Yasa), and Dhul-Kifl. All were of the best. (48) This was a remembrance. An excellent retreat awaits the God-fearing (49) everlasting Gardens whose gates shall remain open to them (50).

Surah Sad, Ayat 48-50

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It is said by Ibn Kathir that after Elijah's passing, dissension rose, events took momentum, and sins increased everywhere. Eventually, the number of tyrants increased and sought to kill the Prophets and their message.

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Prophet Ilyas & Al-Yasa

Some sources claim that Prophet Yasa (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) had been hiding with Prophet Ilyas (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in a cave in Mount Qasium to escape from the king of Ba'alabak. When Ilyas (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) passed, he then succeeded him as Prophet.

The story of Al-Yasa is told in more detail in the Bible, but across all texts, one thing remains consistent, which we can learn from is Al-Yasa's character.

Prophet Al-Yasa

He loved and was devoted to guiding his people on the right path. He was righteous and consistently showed humility and passion to do the right thing, in public and private. This is something we can all strive for and practice.

Allah (سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ) says in Surah Baqarah, ayah 177,

English Translation:

“Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] Righteousness is [in] one who believes in God, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah (obligatory charity); [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and ailment and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.”

— (Quran 2:177)

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